OSOM and Nothing have quickly become two of the most fascinating companies operating the smartphone space in recent years. Nothing is the latest project from OnePlus cofounder, Carl Pei, while OSOM is largely composed of former Essential employees looking to launch their own own thing in the wake the company’s messy dissolution. That Pei purchased Essential’s IP felt like another nice cosmic connection between the two.
Fittingly, both young hardware startups are making news this week, though these announcements have only highlighted how differently their paths have diverged. There was, after all, never an easy time to launch a smartphone, but a spate of external forces amid chip shortages and supply chain shutdowns have further raised the barrier of entry. For Nothing, that means being selective about launch markets and adopting a OnePlus-style invite system.
For OSOM, on the other hand, it’s a major pivot for the company’s debut handset. The OV1 is becoming the web3-focused Android handset, Saga. The rebranding drops OSOM’s name from the product, which, as Jacquelyn notes, is being released by Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of blockchain/crypto startup, Solana Labs.
“OSOM is incredibly excited to partner with Solana in building the Saga,” OSOM founder and CEO, Jason Keats, said in a comment offered to TechCrunch. “The world needs novel hardware companies to support the future that is Web3. Building out an ecosystem that looks to the future without being burdened by past legacy ecosystems is hugely exciting.”
The company won’t comment further, only promising additional updates soon.
OSOM has thus far been positioning itself as a privacy-first hardware maker. Keats told TechCrunch, earlier this year,…